Working in marketing demands creativity, an open mind, and lots of inspiration to be able to produce and manage your campaigns effectively. How do you do this in a world overloaded with communication, news, and inspiration? Some people struggle with it while others pick and choose what to follow from ideas around. But they usually miss important facts and forget to watch trends worth knowing about and worth following as soon as possible.
Here at Sotrender, we know that time matters. We know how precious it is to you, so we try to make things easier by preparing reports that show the highlights and changes of leading social media channels.
You should follow trends and we want to briefly explain…
Why watching trends is beneficial for your marketing and social media strategy?
- Watching trends keeps you up-to-date with the latest news, not only from your field. You can then see the way this news has been adapted on social media. It matters especially in terms of real time marketing as well as some big events and holidays. You can see how big brands (but not only) cope with situations that can easily happen to you, or that generally happen from time to time.
- Trends = the well of inspiration. You can do something great, wrong, or jaw-dropping. When watching trends, you’ll often see jaw-dropping things that you wish you’d done to make a buzz. You can learn your lesson and make the most of them for your brand. One of the greatest examples of this is one trend found and analysed by Sotrender – a video made by… Shell. And if you expect a boring video about some petrol, you’ll be left amazed and surprised. Take a look at the most engaging video in the social media in the UK in September. They made some buzz, they got conversions, and they made it to the top or our ranking!
- You have to know what to discuss or write about – trends are not for copying. Trends are for inspiring your own work. If you know that something works wonders and is widely shared, you can try something connected to it and ride on the wave of this topic. Just without producing the exact same piece of content. Maybe a trend is a great way to start an event or a debate? (or at least, a magnificent post on your blog?)
- You can discover which outcomes work and which don’t in a particular area. And it will be clear to you instead of wasting your time on something that probably won’t work anywhere else than in your head. Below is a quote by Ian Cleary from our personal branding post that suits this perfectly (but instead of reaching out and asking, you can just observe it in trends). Getting some thoughts is one thing, but comparing real data and results as well as measuring the impacts and reaction is another. Sotrender provides you with reports on more engaging/reaching trends and posts – sometimes it’s enough to see them, not necessarily to follow them.
- No copy-paste. With trends, you know exactly what has already been discussed and published. There’s no need to carry a topic out or repeat a point that’s already been made.
- This may be a step ahead of your competition. Everyone in the business should follow trends, but maybe they don’t. So you can flourish and stand out from the crowd with some great solutions, posts, or campaigns based on what you’ve seen at a glance in the news and in trends. Then they’ll wish that they had seen this particular trend earlier.
- Comparisons in the industry never hurt anybody. Trends makes comparing easy. You can see if your competitors stand out or if their communication is merely average and “nothing special” – but as long as you see it, that’s already good. It’s much worse if you have no idea about your situation with your competition, right? And maybe they will be highlighted in some trends – e.g. in Social Media Trends UK – and then you can get depressed about it… or you can get twice as motivated to catch up to them!
- Trends tell you a lot about your target group – be it a current or a potential one. Seeing what is shared, commented on, reacted to, and simply liked helps you to curate your content and strategy. Then, your business can reach out to your audience with an appropriate communication and things they want to see and follow.
- You can see rising and falling stars, when it comes to what’s buzzing. Influencers come and go, but you should know who are the real, impacting ones are and follow what they are doing… and know who is riding the wave just at the moment because of one “good move.”
- Positioning your brand is easier and more precise. Trends help you not only to compare your results with others – you can as also better understand people that you compete with and “beat” them sooner or later.
- Trends often fall out of your industry, but still have an influence on it. For instance – political and social things such as immigration or presidential elections may affect a lot of brands or celebrities and make them (un)popular. Trends provide you with such information.
- Keeping an eye on current trends is also helpful in avoiding crisis situations and learning how to cope with them, if they ever happen to your brand. Some controversial affairs often get to the top of rankings and trends, so you can clearly see how brands or celebrities listen and react.
As you can see, following trends can be beneficial for your brand and extremely helpful for your current and future strategy. If you are responsible for a brand’s communication strategy or you’re building your own personal brand, you need to know what is going on around you.
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We are aware that following every trend in the world may be impossible and time-consuming, but you should at least know what is going on in your area of interest. Just so you can react in time to news and events. It can help you a lot and you may want to thank trends for just… existing. Take them as inspiration and don’t copy them – especially if you don’t feel like following their path. Take a look at the reports we prepare every month and get motivated to be listed in them one day!
We also prepared some hints, tips & tricks to use both by small & big brands and agencies – following trends may really develop your business. “The sky is the limit” – aim high and follow as many hints as possible, and you may be surprised by results!
How to make the most of trends for BRANDS?
- Contests work! They usually engage your audience and spread out your reach. Just take a look at this example from our reports – the most engaging tweet in the ‘Telecommunication’ industry was a contest post, where @BT_UK asked Users for retweets (RT). People always love contests, so you should make the most of it, using your reach, products, or services!
- There are quite a few important events going on in each industry – it’s worth preparing a special calendar with them, as they are followed and discussed by many people. A single tweet about the latest iPhone from @VodafoneUK landed in 5th place of the most engaging tweets in our September report (And always remember to use official hashtags like #AppleEvent)
- Twitter Trends also provide you with useful and popular hashtags. Why not include them in your posts and reach more people potentially interested in your services? But be smart with using them – include them only in the appropriate context.
- Keep an eye on your competition and what they are doing with trends. One of the simplest solutions is to create a benchmarking group and compare your competitors in Sotrender. Detailed statistics and analyzing their activity will show you what engages their (and therefore your) audience. And thanks to this, you can create copies that stand out from the crowd or graphics that appeals to you audience, as well as adjusting your way of promoting products. No more secrets or mystery!
- Find influencers you can follow not only to get inspired, but also to learn about using social media for business or e-commerce purposes. There is no universal solution or person for this – you need to keep an eye on people who are not only heard, but also listened to in your industry. They inform you about trends and they are trends in and of themselves!
- Get to know your fans better and appreciate them. Even if they already love your brand, they will love it more if you spare a moment to say a simple “thank you” to them. The post below received a warm reception and was one of the most popular ones in the Fashion industry in September. Would you have thought so?
- We are not supporters of copying, but we are strong inspiration advocates. That’s why we recommend taking a look at trends from the past as well. You can definitely find some bits worth following or implementing in your own way for your brand.
How to make the most of trends for AGENCIES?
- How can marketers in agencies use trends in practice? They can find trends useful as they may be a great source of information about competitors or their brand’s current communication. Trends provide are helpful for preparing for business meetings or briefings – such as examples of strategies, news adapted to social media standards, and engaging content
- Trends help you pitch social media activity and improve your strategy – you can easily see what works and what doesn’t in your industry. That may, and actually should, affect your marketing activities.
- Analyzing trends is the first step. You can then add competitors or any brand to Sotrender and prepare a detailed report for a meeting with a client – and leave them amazed by your work.
- Trends demonstrate who is doing well in the industry and who needs some help – for example, someone struggling with bought likes, paid promotion, or poor content. Try to prepare a special offer and reach your potential customers. They may welcome you (and your agency) with open arms!
- Thanks to Sotrender + trends, you can reveal almost every secret from marketing campaigns. Maybe some of them weren’t as successful as their authors think?
Are all of the reasons above enough to convince you to follow trends (and our reports), not only from your industry? They can be educational, inspirational, and help you develop your brand.
Brian Tracy once said “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” We deeply hope that watching trends will become one of your successful habits too!